Prep for The MLL Championship with The Actual Rules of Lacrosse

The 2014 Major League Lacrosse Championship Game is drawing near so we thought this would be a great time to dig into this increasingly popular sport (here in the south that is!)  and get educated on what it’s all about.

Kennesaw State University’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium will host The 2014 Major League Lacrosse Championship Game on August 23, 2014 at 7 P.M. The gates to the stadium parking lot will be open at 3:30 P.M. for tailgating. For more information about game day and who’s playing, check out For information about tickets or to order yours, click the “Find Tickets” button below.


A Brief History of Lacrosse

Lacrosse developed from a stick ball-like game that was developed by Native Americans back in the 1400’s. The original game featured sticks made of branches, balls made of deer skin and fur and a field that could span from 100 yards to a mile or more. The number of players could vary anywhere from 10 per side to thousands per side. Native Americans used the game to settle disagreements between tribes, make requests of the gods, or to train young men for war. The games often lasted for days- breaking at sunset and reconvening at dawn the next day. In the 1600’s French missionaries working with Native Americans who played the game gave it the name we know it as today, lacrosse. In the 1800’s the first lacrosse club was developed in Canada and official rules were developed. Below are the rules that we know today.


The Rules

The primary objective of modern lacrosse is to score more points than the opposing team by shooting the ball in the opponent’s goal.

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The game is played by 10 players in the following positions:

  • goalkeeper (1)
  • defensemen (3)
  • midfielders (3)
  • attackmen (3)

At all times each team must have at least four players (including the goalkeeper) in the defensive half of the field and three players in the offensive half of the field. Only three players, the midfielders, are permitted to move freely about the entire field.

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Games are generally about an hour in length and have four quarters and a halftime. Teams switch sides between each period. The team who wins the coin toss at the start of the game gets to choose which side they want to defend first. Each team is allotted two time-outs per half. 

Each game commences with a face-off between 2 players. An official will play with ball between the sticks of two squatting players at the center of the field. Once the official blows the whistle, each face-off player will fight to gain control of the ball. The players in the wing area can release while other players must wait until one player gains possession or the ball has crossed the goal line.


Face-offs aren’t just a start of the game occurrence. Face-offs at the center of the field also take place after a goal and at the beginning of each quarter.

While the ball is in play, players are permitted to run with the ball in the crosse (that’s the net on the end of the stick for all of y’all true rookies), pass and catch the ball. Players may not touch the ball with their hands with the exception of the goalkeeper.

How it feels to practice without a stick:

A player can gain possession of the ball by dislodging or knocking the ball out of another player’s crosse using a stick check. A stick check is a controlled slapping or poking of the stick and gloved hand of the player in possession of the ball. An opponent’s crosse may be stick checked if it is within five yards or a loose ball or ball in the air.

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Lacrosse is a contact sport so body checking is allowed if, and only if, the opponent has possession of the ball. All contact must occur from the front or side of the body and above the waist and below the shoulders.

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If the ball of a player in possession  goes out of bounds, the other team is awarded possession of the ball. If a player shoots and misses a shot in a goal, the nearest player to the ball when and where it goes out of bounds is awarded possession.

Attacking players cannot enter the crease area around the goals. However said player is permitted to reach in with their stick and scoop up a loose ball.

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Let’s not forget that a referee, umpire, and field judge supervise field play. A chief bench official, timekeepers, scorers and coaches also assist.

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There you have it, the basics of lacrosse. Now you know everything you need to know to impress all of you LAX friends and enjoy the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Championship game on August 23rd at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University.

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